- published: 11 Feb 2015
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Cargo (or freight) is goods or produce transported, generally for commercial gain, by ship, aircraft,intermodal train, van or truck. In modern times, containers are used in most intermodal freight transpo long-haul cargo transport.
Air cargo, commonly known as air freight, is collected by firms from shippers and delivered to customers. Aircraft were first used for carrying mail as cargo in 1911. Eventually manufacturers started designing aircraft for other types of freight as well.
There are many commercial aircraft suitable for carrying cargo such as the Boeing 747 and the bigger An-124, which was purposely built for easy conversion into a cargo aircraft. Such large aircraft employ quick-loading containers known as Unit Load Devices (ULDs), much like containerized cargo ships. The ULDs are located in front section of the aircraft.
Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most-populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² (11.7 million sq mi) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area. With 1.0 billion people (as of 2009, see table), it accounts for about 14.72% of the world's human population.
The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, both the Suez Canal and the Red Sea along the Sinai Peninsula to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagoes. It has 54 fully recognized sovereign states ("countries"), 9 territories and three de facto states with limited recognition.
Africa, particularly central Eastern Africa, is widely regarded within the scientific community to be the origin of humans and the Hominidae clade (great apes), as evidenced by the discovery of the earliest hominids and their ancestors, as well as later ones that have been dated to around seven million years ago – including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster – with the earliest Homo sapiens (modern human) found in Ethiopia being dated to circa 200,000 years ago.